Barrie's beginnings can be traced back to First Nations People using the western shores of Kempenfelt Bay as a place of rest before travelling the portage that ran between Lake Simcoe and the Nottawasaga River to Lake Huron. The City of Barrie was named after British Admiral Sir Robert Barrie.
Today Barrie stands at a population of more than 130,000 and continues to be one of Canada's fastest growing cities. Barrie's historic downtown and waterfront are at the heart of its tourism industry. Downtown Barrie hosts many older buildings that have been kept up over the years or given new facades that exemplify their historical importance. Many specialty shops, boutiques, pubs and restaurants are located throughout downtown Barrie, most notably along Dunlop Street East. Downtown Barrie is becoming well known for its fashion boutiques, local art, live theatre, indie-music and nightlife.